Maldives Weather, climate and geography

Weather & climate

The Maldives climate provides warm, tropical weather all year round, even during the wet season the temperature averages around the high twenties and low thirties. The Hulhangu Monsoon season runs from May to November leading to significantly higher rainfall, particularly on the southern islands; this period can see strong winds and fierce storms as well as overcast skies. However, it is still likely visitors will experience long hours of bright sunshine amidst the short, sharp torrential downpours of the monsoon. The Iruvai dry season sees a reduction in humidity and rainfall starting in January and continuing until April. February and March provide the most sun for holiday makers from Europe seeking refuge from colder climes back home.

The islands of the Maldives make up the lowest lying country in the world, the highest point stands a mere 2.3 metres above sea level, this in combination with the islands’ equatorial location mean the Maldives climate is constantly hot and humid wherever you are. The average temperature generally ranges between 25°C (77°F) and 31°C (88°F) during the day, falling to 23°C (73°F) at night. Humidity is generally high with the wet season experiencing humidity levels of above 80% on average and the dryer months still as high as 75%; this is somewhat tempered by the sea breeze that can be felt almost anywhere on the small, flat islands that make up the Maldives, particularly during February and March when humidity is at its lowest.

The Maldives location 250 miles (700km) south west of the coast of the India leaves the islands vulnerable to weather patterns from the Asian mainland. Despite this, the Maldives are not as affected by monsoon weather as on the subcontinent meaning storms are less frequent and persistent than inland, particularly during the dry season when monsoon winds actually cause a reduction in humidity and drive storm clouds away from the island atolls.

Due to the lower rainfall and reduced humidity, Maldives climate is best experienced during the dry season, particularly between February and April. Although there is greater chance of rain during the wet season, the temperature remains hot and there is a strong chance of extended periods of sunshine in between showers.

The Maldives is most popular with tourists as a winter get away with the period from December to April drawing the most visitors taking advantage of the long warm days unspoiled by stormy weather. Whilst less popular as a summer destination, the wet season in the Maldives is still hot and regularly sunny though the risk of protracted storms is always present.

The Maldives remains one of the world’s most beautiful tropical destinations with fine weather the year round on the northern islands and across the whole nation during the dry season. Whatever time of year the Maldives offer azure blue seas and sunshine, making it perfect for relaxing in its many resorts. Whilst the temperature is relatively consistent, the weather is always unpredictable and storms can strike suddenly regardless of the season, although they tend to be short lived.


Best time to visit

The Maldives has a year-round hot tropical climate. The Maldives has two distinct and dominating seasons: a dry season (November to April), punctuated with northeast winter monsoons, and a wet season (May to October) associated with southwest monsoons and strong winds. Generally, the southwest brings more wind and rain in June and July. Due to this, this time is popular with surfers, as areas see bigger waves and larger swells. January to April is typically known as peak season, as they have little rain and low humidity. Due to this, hotel and resorts prices will increase during this period. The temperature rarely falls below 25°C (77°F).

Required clothing

Lightweight cottons and linens throughout the year. Light waterproofs are advised during the rainy season. More modest clothing when visiting local villages and cities outside of the resorts.


The Republic of Maldives consists of about 1,190 low-lying coral islands, of which only 200 are inhabited. Most of the inhabited islands are covered by lush tropical vegetation and palm trees, while the numerous uninhabited islands, some of which are mere sand spits or coral tips, are covered in shrubs.

Each island is surrounded by a reef enclosing a shallow lagoon. Hundreds of these islands, together with other coral growth, form an atoll, surrounding a lagoon. All the islands are low-lying, none more than 2.4m (7.9ft) above sea level.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.